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March 7 - Houston Rockets

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  • March 7 - Houston Rockets

    ESPN Preview:

    The Houston Rockets haven't struggled this much since the very beginning of 2012, but another date with the Toronto Raptors may be just what they need to get back on track.

    Houston seeks to avoid a season-high fifth straight defeat Wednesday night when it visits sputtering Toronto.

    The Rockets (21-18) are coming off consecutive overtime losses, falling 105-103 to the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday and 97-92 at Boston on Tuesday.

    Those defeats are part of a four-game skid that matches their worst this season. They also dropped four straight Jan. 3-7.

    Tuesday's loss was also Houston's fourth straight on the road, and it came despite having six players score in double figures, led by 18 points each from Luis Scola and Kyle Lowry.

    "We started doing the worst thing you can do on the road: Just start playing the score as opposed to playing the game," coach Kevin McHale said. "We lost our rhythm a little bit and then we just got too conservative trying to run the clock, trying to play perfect basketball."

    Goran Dragic hit a jumper in the final seconds of regulation to send the game to overtime, but Scola said it just delayed the inevitable.

    "The fact that we played the overtime was a bonus, was a present. We lost the game before that," Scola said.

    Now the Rockets hope to end their skid against the last team they beat.

    Houston shot only 38.7 percent but came away with an 88-85 win over Toronto on Feb. 28, as Lowry scored a game-high 26 points.

    That contest marked the first of three times in the last five games the Raptors (12-26) have scored fewer than 90 points, and they're averaging 89.3 for the season after falling 92-88 to Orlando on Monday.

    DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points for Toronto, which has lost 10 of 14. Each of those defeats has come by seven points or fewer.

    "It's definitely frustrating, especially knowing how many games we had like that this season that we definitely could've won," DeRozan said. "We just got to close out teams."

    Coach Dwane Casey lauded his team for another good performance despite falling short.

    "I feel for our guys because they are putting themselves in a position to win," Casey said.

    The major reason for that is how well Toronto has played defensively of late. Beginning with the matchup against Houston, the Raptors have held their last five opponents to 88.2 points per game on 40.8 percent shooting.

    DeRozan has done his part offensively as Andrea Bargnani remains sidelined with a strained calf, averaging 20.8 points and shooting 49.2 percent over his last eight games.

    He had a career-high 37 points at Houston on Dec. 31, 2010, but the Rockets won 114-105 and will now seek to win three in a row in the series for the first time since March 5, 2002-March 5, 2003.

    They'll hope for another solid performance from Lowry, who is averaging 19.6 points over his last eight games. However, prior to last month's meeting with Toronto, Lowry had shot 36.2 percent and averaged 9.7 points in seven games versus the Raptors.

    Will Houston relent and send out Lowry in return for Pau Gasol? For what it is worth, I wouldn't but I'm not making the decision. If they do relent they'll be looking for a PG. Another audition for Calderon tonight?

    Who would have thought before the season that half way through Toronto would be getting praise for their defense. I look forward to seeing what Casey can do with a talented roster - on both sides of the ball.

  • #2
    I'm going to the game tonight! Will be wearing red so keep an eye out for me! haha

    Should be a great game though.

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    • #3
      The more I watch the boys the more I think Kleiza is getting traded if anyone at all
      @sweatpantsjer

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      • #4
        Demar looks like Kobe tonight. :P

        Bayless can't take defensive pressure, that's how you already know he's a poor point guard. He knows he's a shooting guard.

        Love the team's play tonight. So defensive, getting on the glass, and they are running Houston around circles. Love Amir Johnson, I really don't wanna trade either of the two.
        Twitter: @ReubenJRD NBA, Raptors writer for Daily Hive Vancouver, Toronto.

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        • #5
          Jeez, we are lights OUT at the moment! JJ hitting a few jumpers, even ED got a nice 15 footer in, ugly as shit jumper tho!

          Even look at our assist distribution, great team play

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          • #6
            Ya, the stars are aligning in the first half!

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            • #7
              Trash talker?!

              Did anyone see when Demar made that jumper than got fouled during the start of the 3rd? He turned around, and showed a gesture towards the rocket bench (Fist and hammer). I don't know, that seems awesome to me. Just something I thought was interesting.
              Twitter: @ReubenJRD NBA, Raptors writer for Daily Hive Vancouver, Toronto.

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              • #8
                joey_hesketh wrote: View Post
                I'm going to the game tonight! Will be wearing red so keep an eye out for me! haha

                Should be a great game though.
                I'd be more inclined to strain my looking if you were wearing a red dress and high heels

                @Matt
                Houston seems to have so much of the hots for Gasol they might very well relent on Lowry/Scola. Jose can then be sent to Houston for ....

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                • #9
                  Demar Derozan looks really good out there tonight, in control. BUT aggressive.
                  Twitter: @ReubenJRD NBA, Raptors writer for Daily Hive Vancouver, Toronto.

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                  • #10
                    Devlin & Leo are really a piss off right now...like they are at some bar than talking about the basketball game.

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                    • #11
                      Bendit wrote: View Post
                      I'd be more inclined to strain my looking if you were wearing a red dress and high heels

                      @Matt
                      Houston seems to have so much of the hots for Gasol they might very well relent on Lowry/Scola. Jose can then be sent to Houston for ....

                      Houston has a bunch of expiring contracts as they did not pick up the options on Thabeet, Flynn, and Williams. Lee and Dragic are also expiring. Lee would be interesting to get - not sure he is available, supposedly he is liked more than Martin. The key would be the Knicks 1st round pick that is top 5 protected.

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                      • #12
                        Damn bendit, that's what I came to complain about!

                        Only 2 things about this game pissin me off: Matt an Leo.

                        Leo doing his "I love player x because he's so smart and plays the right way" thing. Should be: "I love this unheralded white player" fuck off already. Parsons is decent but GET OFF HIS DICK ALREADY! No one cares about a 3rd option rookie. He's decent but not great and more importantly he doesn't play for the RAPTORS. Sheeeeeeiiiiiiiit.

                        Meanwhile, Devlins job is play by play so why won't he stfu and just CALL THE GAME?! I give a shit about all these tangents and boring, pointless stories. Double sheeeeeeiiiiiiiittttt.

                        On a positive note I really wish they'd show mchale more. There's a milf in a short skirt with great legs right behind him.
                        LET'S GO RAP-TORS!!!!!

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                        • #13
                          Why the fuck do refs always foul us out of games. though we are winning right now, the refs trying their darndest to bail out Houston.
                          Gotdammit

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                          • #14
                            I hope we go after Dragic in the off season! I've said it numberous times in other threads, but he has a great skill set that Calderon could mentor into something great.

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                            • #15
                              minks77 wrote: View Post
                              Damn bendit, that's what I came to complain about!

                              Only 2 things about this game pissin me off: Matt an Leo.

                              Leo doing his "I love player x because he's so smart and plays the right way" thing. Should be: "I love this unheralded white player" fuck off already. Parsons is decent but GET OFF HIS DICK ALREADY! No one cares about a 3rd option rookie. He's decent but not great and more importantly he doesn't play for the RAPTORS. Sheeeeeeiiiiiiiit.

                              Meanwhile, Devlins job is play by play so why won't he stfu and just CALL THE GAME?! I give a shit about all these tangents and boring, pointless stories. Double sheeeeeeiiiiiiiittttt.

                              On a positive note I really wish they'd show mchale more. There's a milf in a short skirt with great legs right behind him.
                              Haha. I think its mostly Devlin's fault because he is really driving the broadcast....he does the same thing with Jack with all kinds of plays going on and the dickwad is not even looking at the play. He might as well stay at home and do the broadcast looking at a monitor. I think he has an inflated view of his comic capabilities....blah.

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